Assistant Dry Kiln/Boiler Operator

Employment Listing

Job Title: Assistant Dry Kiln/Boiler Operator
Division: Hartzell Hardwoods
Location: Kirksville, MO
Department: Boiler
Reports To: Maintenance Mechanic
Basic Function:

Assists in the operation of computerized package kilns, steam box and air storage areas to insure top quality during all drying processes of hardwood lumber. Operate and maintain gas and wood low pressure boiler systems in a safe and efficient manner.

Responsibilities and Duties:
  1. Monitors and operates computer terminal and keyboard to determine when to advance to next step of drying process.
  2. Uses moisture meter to take periodic readings of lumber in kilns.
  3. Cuts pieces from lumber samples and weighs shell and core separately on digital scale.
  4. Bakes same pieces overnight and reweighs to determine moisture level.
  5. Must be capable of when to raise or lower temperatures or relative humidity based on moisture content of the wood in the absence of the Dry Kiln Operator.
  6. Records numbers into kiln record book; accuracy is important.
  7. Performs stress test on samples at end of dry kiln run using band saw.
  8. Unplugs and disengages moisture probes prior to unloading kiln, being careful not to pinch wires during the process.
  9. Oversees loading and unloading of kilns and steam box. Insures that lumber is placed correctly on 4X5's (computerized package kilns) by towmotor operator to prevent warpage of lumber.
  10. Drills holes in lumber using template in order to place moisture probes inside individual boards in computerized kiln.
  11. Plugs wire into probe and computer junction box in order to connect probes to computer.
  12. Operates chain saw to cut samples from lumber inside kilns.
  13. Operates and maintains gas fired boiler and wood fired low pressure boiler in a safe, clean and efficient manner.
  14. Performs daily water analysis on gas and wood fired boiler water and feed water.
  15. Handles any and all emergency situations involving loss of water, power, pumps, fire, etc.; knowledge of all back-up water supplies.
  16. Maintain feed system for wood fired portion.
  17. Completes daily log sheet as to water usage, daily "load" log, EPA required records etc. as required for each boiler.
  18. Cleans ashes out of fire box daily or as necessary.
  19. Assists in preparing boilers for internal inspection once per year.
  20. Maintains water softener by loading bags of salt into brine tank and emptying, cleaning, and refilling periodically.
  21. Occasionally empties fly ash collector and empties ash barrel for wood fired boiler.
  22. Completes log sheet on reasons why the boiler produced an opacity reading of 20% or more in the Stack Ommissions Log Book.
  23. Paints equipment as required.
  24. Cleans blow down tank and pit behind wood fired boiler.
  25. Performs blow down every 24 hours on gas fired boiler.
  26. Maintains inventory of all tools, chemicals, salt, etc.


  1. Performs preventive maintenance; consists primarily of visual checks of steam traps, baffles, fans, pipes, door seals, chemical system, chip/feed system, plumbing, light electrical, air compressors. Also lubricates motors.
  2. Performs corrective maintenance as required on above items.
  3. Observes good housekeeping practices and prescribed safety precautions.
Qualifications and Required Skills:

Physical and Visual Activities: Standing, walking, lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, reaching, handling, talking, and hearing. Visual acuity, near and far, depth perception, accommodation, color vision.

Physical Demands: Frequently (40-70%) lifts material weighing 25-60 lbs. Lifting can be from a variety of positions, from floor level to overhead.

Environmental/Atmospheric Conditions: Both inside and outside conditions, with extremes of cold and heat, humidity, noise, hazards, fumes, and dust.

Knowledge: High school diploma or GED required. Good math skills including formulas and fractionsand basic computer knowledge helpful.

Experience: Over 3 months and up to 12 months to learn and perform the functions of the job at a good level of proficiency.

Machines, Tools, Equipment (Office and Industrial), Software: Chainsaws, bandsaws, computer terminal and keyboard, electric hand drill, assorted hand tools, low pressure boiler, shovel, water analysis kit, and ladder.

Licenses: Tow motor, valid drivers license

Additional Information:
We offer Competitive Pay and Benefits

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